Sapporo ramen - increase in popularity leading to decrease in quality?
I used to stop in to Sapporo about once every few weeks, always on a weekday just after or before the main lunch rush (11:30ish or 1ish). Always a table available and never a wait.
At some point this year their popularity exploded to the point where I almost never see an open seat no matter when I walk by (I use that area as a cut through). I rarely will wait in line for a restaurant or bar, so the other day when I walked by at 2pm and a single open seat was just opening up I decided to give it a whirl.
I don't know if my memory is fonder than reality or if reality has declined over the last several months but I was disappointed. The broth seemed about the same, and the fixin's seemed about the same but the texture of the noodles seemed very off to me. Am I just imagining this or has there been a general loss of quality during their popularity boom?
Your last line is exactly my conundrum. It's been so long since I've actually been there I don't know if my opinion either was being swayed in the positive previously, my opinion is being swayed in the negative currently, my memory doesn't match reality or if they've simply gotten worse.